Author: Sarah Zacharias Davis

ISBN: 978-1-4000-7439-6 (1-4000-7439-8)

Publisher: Water Brook Press  July 2009

 Click Here To Purchase The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship

Like the wings of a butterfly that were so delicate or the outer shell of an egg that breaks so easily, friendships are equally as fragile and can be broken without the slightest warning or sign. This brings me to the review of The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul Of Friendship by Sarah Zacharias Davis which brings to light to the reader what kind of friendships do we really want, need and how will we know a true friendship or friend. That is one of the most difficult questions to answer and I don’t think that anyone defines the word in exactly the same way.

The book begins with the author asking the question Whom Do You Call a Friend? Throughout the book this question is addressed in the many chapters and different aspects of the author’s life and other stories that she so brilliantly relates to the reader.

Friends can into our lives from the moment we take our first steps and enter school, the playground or a playgroup. Sometimes the friends or children we meet we kind, caring and giving. Others are mean, cruel and often can act like green-eyed monsters when someone recognizes them for doing something better than we can. Friends as described by the author come in many forms. There are those who think they are so great that in order to be their friend you need to be a carbon copy of them. This person will expend a lot of time and energy criticizing you and pointing out your faults in order to make you into the kind of person they think you should be. I would be careful of this type of person for this person is definitely insecure in her own body and needs you to walk in her shadow for her to feel safe and secure. Of course there is the friend that loves to gossip and hear all of the dirt and enjoys repeating it at the other person’s expense. Beware of who you tell your personal information and inner most thoughts too. I would not want anyone to air my information.

In each phase or chapter of this book the author leads us on a journey of understanding, search and awareness of what a true friend might be and how to find one. By relating her own experiences an inner most thoughts of times when she could have forgiven those who wronged her, to the people of Rwanda or sought to forgive those who killed and caused the most genocide to the people of this country, we bond with the author and understand the workings of her mind and thoughts when confronted with hard choices to make when deciding just how far we should go in our quest to be a true friend. Do you tell a friend when she is making a mistake in her relationship with a boyfriend, do we agree with her when she relates problems with her spouse her child, or do we listen, not judge and pose questions, as the author does, when a good friend is headed for a sure fire downfall if she continues on in a destructive relationship.

 How did the people of Rwanda learn to follow the true path of forgiveness? Why did they chose to face the murders of their loved ones and not inflict death upon them as they did others? Is true forgiveness allowing others to get away with their evil deeds? Of did they decide to forgive Tutsi people because they did not want to become them?

Friendships can be long term; short termed and often come when you least expect it. Many people always want to be someone’s favorite friend, a teacher’s most prized or best student and the one relied on to go on errands and help out when needed. When the author describes how excited she was to be asked by her fifth grade teacher to deliver a message to a teacher in another classroom, I smiled and remembered how important it was for me to be the paper closet monitor in the first grade and make sure that it was kept in pristine condition. When the teacher said it was my job for one month and then gave it to another child, I was devastated. Of course, I hoped she would realize that I was the only one who took the responsibility seriously and she would return the job to me.

When the author tells the story of the woman who was ill with cancer and her plight during WWII, I remembered my aunt’s struggle with the disease and how I sat with her in the hospital and watched her slip away and find peace.

This is not a novel that I am reviewing. It is a mind stimulating, thought provoking book that enters the mind of the author and her journey to explain to use what true friendships are and how difficult and fragile they are to find and keep.

A friend who is envious, who smiles at your disappointments, and does not celebrate your successes, is not a true friend. Jealousy is something that most people experience in their lifetime. Whether it is about someone’s successes, or promotions or the fact that they can eat anything they want and never weight. It can be as simple as wanting to be accepted by the in-group and feeling jealous at being left out. The author explores so many aspects of friendships and relationships in this book that you will have to read it and decide which chapter and which heading you can identify with and more.

I would be remiss if I did not site the chapter where the author’s mother finds a note in her backpack and insists that she end the friendship with her best friend. I understand how she felt and the sadness at losing her best friend over a simple misunderstanding of a note that could have been explained had her mother listened.

To me a good friend is someone that you can call anytime of the day and he or she will listen and find time to hear what you are saying. Someone who will not pass judgment on you and who you can call or they can call and not get insulted if you cannot speak at that time. A good friend will listen to your concerns and compete with you or try to one up you when you tell relate your successes. This book gives the review pause for a lot of thought and retrospect in remembering many of the friendships that I cherished as a child and wish I could rekindle now. People move, lives change and friendship take on different meanings. But, if we are not our own best friend and do not remember that we need to make time to listen to what is inside of us, then the light in the mirror that the author describes will not shine as brightly as it should and illuminate our spirit and our love for ourselves and our friendships.

To the author of this amazing book that really helps you define friendship in a truly different way, you are now one of my favorite authors to read. I would definitely recommend this book to women, men and young adults to read. 

Click Here To Purchase The Friends We Keep: A Woman's Quest for the Soul of Friendship